Peyton Manning: Locker Room Quotes

Peyton Manning shared his thoughts on the New York Giants, the Colts offense and -- of course -- the big matchup with his brother, Eli following Wednesday's practice. Find out what he had to say in our Locker Room Quotes feature!

(on what jumps out to him about the Giants)
"They have great players. They have really, really good football players. Defensively, when you start with (Michael) Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, they are outstanding rushers, and they brought in (LaVar) Arrington, who is as athletic of a linebacker as there is, and then they brought in Sam Madison, who I've played against for a long time and is a top cover corner, and brought in (Will) Demps from Baltimore…they just have good players. Most defenses are outstanding defenses because of the players. They do (have outstanding players) and we have our hands full match-up wise."

(on how ready the offense is to get on the field and show what they can do)
"We're excited that the regular season is finally here, and it's a great opportunity, this game Sunday night. I always thought opening day, opening night was the closest thing to a playoff-type atmosphere, and we know this one will definitely have that feeling, being up there in New York and prime-time television. So, we're excited about the season being here. We've worked hard this offseason and this is when you find out what kind of team you're going to have. Even though it's just one game and there's plenty of more football left, you certainly want to go out and put on a good show in your first game, especially when the whole country is watching."

(on playing the ‘numbers game' with his brother Cooper growing up and Eli not being interested)
"The main difference between Eli and I is the timing in which we grew up. I was eight years old when my dad retired, Eli was three, so I grew up going to some Saints practices and I went to a Pro Bowl when my dad played in it and I went to the locker room after Saints games, so it wasn't abnormal for Saints players to be over at my house, Ricky Jackson or just some of my dad's other pro football friends over there. So, Eli didn't really grow up in that environment. That had a big influence on me. I liked watching the game, I liked the players and had a little passion about it. So, that was one of the differences in the way Eli and I grew up. Cooper was very much the same way. We were both into the history of it, played a lot of football trivia questions with it. That's probably one reason in the difference in the fact that I knew a lot about the history of the game as opposed to Eli."

(on if he and his brothers ever envisioned the day they would play in the NFL head-to-head)
"No. Eli didn't really play in any of the games that we (Cooper and Peyton) played in. Cooper and I played a lot of pick-up games, we had a lot of neighborhood games. Eli, being five years younger, just wasn't quite old enough to play in those same games. So, no one in our family expected this to be the case at any point. Obviously, once Eli became the top draft choice in the league, I knew at some point we were going to have to play each other. By the rotation of the schedule, 2006 was here, and I figured I'll get him in 2010 and 2014. I might be out of eligibility by then. It's kind of been a surprise for us. I know it's going to be difficult and awkward for my family and my parents, and I know they will just try to get through it, but Eli and I are excited about the game actually being here."

(on how he would describe Eli to someone who doesn't know him)
"He's a very bright guy, funny, loves to laugh, has a good sense of humor in his own way. He's very easy to get along with. The whole, they call him ‘Easy,' I've never called him that, and I don't think I've ever heard him answer to that to tell you the truth. That's kind of one of those myths that gets made up. Is he laid back or is he not? The thing about Eli, he's very intense and passionate about his preparation and his commitment to being a good football player in the NFL. All quarterbacks in the NFL need to put the time and effort into it, and he does. He lives there in New York in the offseason and is committed to being the best player he can be."

(on if it will be difficult watching and not wanting him to complete a pass)
"No. Once that ball is kicked off, I'm a pretty tunnel-vision guy out there. I'm focused on one thing. For me, most of the time I watch the other team's offense, I'm just sitting over there by Reggie (Wayne) and Brandon (Stokley), we're watching it on the JumboTron usually, just catching a glimpse and you're just kind of waiting until it gets to third down, and then you maybe stand up and start warming up. But for our time, what people forget about, is that the sidelines is really the only time we get to talk and communicate because when we get on the field, we're in straight no-huddle and so it's a chance for me to find out from Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie and Dallas (Clark) about what's going on out there, so we can get a little communication. So often times, if they go three-and-out, I won't even see a play offensively out there. So, for us, it will be just focus on how to find a way to move the ball against this good Giants defense. And believe me, I know there's a lot of talk about the quarterbacks in this game, but with this defense that we're playing against, it is plenty to keep your mind occupied on playing against these guys."

(on of all three brothers, Eli being the least likely to become an NFL quarterback)
"That's what people say. For me, when I left high school in 1994 and he was in 7th grade, he was a good athlete, but he was playing flag football like most kids do in 7th grade. I left to go to college, and from that point, you're not seeing him every single day. You're seeing him basically every five to six months. And every time I saw him, I was thinking, ‘He's a little bigger, he's a little stronger, he's a little more outspoken.' And then the next thing you know, he's a sophomore in high school and he's slinging it up and down the field. It wasn't like all of a sudden when he was a junior in college when I figured out he was going to be an NFL player. I knew once I saw him play as a sophomore in high school. I feel like I'm a pretty good judge of quarterbacks. I can tell if a kid can throw it or not, and when I saw him play the first time in high school, he could throw it. I knew then he was going to be a really good player."


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